The FACS credential exists to foster the professional growth and development of surgeons, promote high standards and best practices in surgical care, and establish and maintain patients’ confidence in the ability and integrity of their surgeon. Conferred on surgeons who meet specific academic and practice requirements, the FACS credential can only be used by Fellows in good standing with the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The FACS credential is not an honor that should be discarded lightly; members are expected to engage in ACS activities and remain financially current with their annual membership dues in order to continue to use the designation. Once membership lapses, a surgeon is no longer legally allowed to display FACS after their name and medical degree in any context. The designation is the exclusive intellectual property of the ACS. Misuse of the FACS designation by nonmembers is pursued by the ACS.
The American College of Surgeons admits to its Fellowship only those surgeons whose professional activity is devoted to surgical practice and who agree without compromise to practice by the professional and ethical standards of the College.
The standards of practice established and demanded by the American College of Surgeons are contained in the Fellowship Pledge, Statements on Principles, and the Code of Conduct. All Fellows of the College and applicants for Fellowship are expected to adhere to these standards.
Surgeons voluntarily submit applications for Fellowship. In so doing, they are inviting an evaluation of their practice by their peers.
In evaluating the eligibility of applicants for Fellowship, the College investigates each applicant's surgical practice. Applicants for Fellowship are required to provide to the appointed committees of the College all information deemed necessary for the review and evaluation of their surgical practice.
The College has designated December 1 of each year as the final date for acceptance of these applications. The completed applications (new or continuing) must be on file in the Division of Member Services in Chicago by this date. Only completed applications from surgeons who fulfill the following requirements will be considered for entry into Fellowship in October of the following year.
Applicants for Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons are required to have the following qualifications:
The Division of Member Services determines whether the requirements for Fellowship are satisfied and may; at its discretion defer any application until such requirements are met. The Board of Regents makes the final decision regarding the applicant's eligibility for Fellowship. The Board of Regents may, at any time, modify the requirements for Fellowship.
All properly submitted and accepted applications for Fellowship are evaluated on a one-year cycle. The closing date for receiving completed applications is December 1 of each year.
The evaluation of an applicant for Fellowship is based on information relating to the applicant's surgical judgment and experience, professional competence, ethical conduct, and professional standing in the local community. Such information is obtained from appointed College committees, references named by the applicant, and others.
The fee must accompany every application for Fellowship and is paid at the time the application is submitted. The fee covers a portion of the cost of reviewing and processing the application and is not refundable. No application will be processed without the fee.
Upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors, the Board of Regents determines the amount of annual dues.
A statement for the Initiate Fee is sent to the applicants who are notified of their Initiate
status. If this Fee is not received at the College by September 1 of the appropriate year, the Initiate
will not be awarded Fellowship in the College.
Recognizing that the American College of Surgeons seeks to exemplify and develop the highest traditions of our ancient profession, I hereby pledge myself, as a condition of Fellowship in the College, to live in strict accordance with the College's principles and regulations.
I pledge to pursue the practice of surgery with honesty and to place the welfare and the rights of my patient above all else. I promise to deal with each patient as I would wish to be dealt with if I was in the patient's position, and I will respect the patient's autonomy and individuality.
I further pledge to affirm and support the social contract of the surgical profession with my community and society.
I will take no part in any arrangement or improper financial dealings that induce referral, treatment, or withholding of treatment for reason other than the patient's welfare.
Upon my honor, I declare that I will advance my knowledge and skills, will respect my colleagues, and will seek their counsel when in doubt about my own abilities. In turn, I will willingly help my colleagues when requested.
I recognize the interdependency of all health care professionals and will treat each with respect and consideration.
Finally, by my Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons, I solemnly pledge to abide by the Code of Professional Conduct and to cooperate in advancing the art and science of surgery.
As Fellows of the American College of Surgeons, we treasure the trust that our patients have placed in us, because trust is integral to the practice of surgery. During the continuum of pre-, intra-, and postoperative care, we accept responsibilities to:
As surgeons, we acknowledge that we relate to our patients when they are most vulnerable. Their trust and the privileges we enjoy depend on our individual and collective participation in efforts that promote the good of both our patients and society. As Fellows of the American College of Surgeons, we commit ourselves and the College to the ideals of professionalism.